In what very well might be a record for living rent free, a recent case illustrates how a tenant was able to live rent-free for over 18 months despite agreeing to an Order requiring him to vacate the unit.
The tenant stopped paying rent as of April 1, 2015. The landlord took steps to evict and on June 25, 2015, the landlord agreed to waive all rent arrears and fees owing by the tenant to the landlord up to June 30, 2015 in exchange for the tenant agreeing to an Order ending his tenancy and evicting him for non-payment of rent as of July 31, 2015.
The tenant refused to move out despite agreeing to do so. He then asked the Landlord and Tenant Board to review the Order. The Board declined to do so.
The tenant then filed for an appeal with the Divisional Court in September, 2015. Despite repeated prodding by the landlord, the tenant failed to set his appeal down for a hearing.
In September, 2016, the landlord booked a motion to quash the appeal. That motion was heard on November 22nd. The tenant, who had not responded to any of the landlord’s correspondence in over a year, did not show up at the motion. Nevertheless, instead of dismissing the appeal the motion judge ordered that the appeal be heard on December 6th.
On November 23rd, the landlord served the motion judge’s endorsement and notice of the hearing date (December 6th).
On December 5th the tenant finally sprang into action. The tenant sent a fax to the landlord’s counsel objecting to the December 6th hearing date on the basis that it conflicted with a graduate program exam he was taking at a University “almost a thousand kilometers from Toronto” and also that in any event he would have been unable to prepare for the appeal and travel to Toronto on such short notice.
The tenant did not attend on December 6th, and did not provide proof of his purported conflicting appointment as directed by the Court. The Court proceeded in the tenant’s absence and dismissed the appeal for lack of merit; about 18 months after the tenant’s last rent payment was made.